Conference date and venue: June 15 2011, Fondation Universitaire, Rue d’Egmont, 11, Brussels, Belgium
Organizers: The Trans-European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), Brussels, Belgium; Institute for Development and International Relations (RIMO); Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Croatia; Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Brussels
About this conference:
The purpose of this conference was to assess lessons of Croatia’s EU negotiations and to discuss perspectives of Croatia’s functioning in the EU as the 28th EU member state. Croatia negotiated its accession under the new EU enlargement policy introduced in late 2005 that established new negotiating framework with the increased conditionality. This policy-change has been accompanied with the triple-crisis at the EU level; institutional crisis related to the entering into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the “enlargement fatigue” after the fifth EU enlargement wave and finally the economic crisis which also provoked the euro-crisis. This caused unfavourable context in which Croatia’s EU negotiations have been placed. Still, despite these circumstances Croatia managed to finalize its accession negotiations. In this process it collected new experiences and knowledge which should be shared with all interested actors. These experiences are particularly relevant for the countries of the SEE region which are still in initial phases of their accession processes. Regarding functioning as the EU member states, accession to the single market of 500 million people, the world largest trading block, and being part of the global political power will produce change in all Croatia’s policy domains. However, full utilization of this new potential depends on the expertise and proficient knowledge in various EU sectoral policies between different tiers of government and among different stakeholders in society at large. Finally, the conference focused on the fact that successful participation in the EU policy-making requires proactive approach, in order to secure desired policy-outcomes at the EU level. Conference gathered experts, high-level government officials, representatives of the European Commission and the European Parliament, representatives of the academia and other relevant stakeholders interested in the Croatia’s and the overall EU accession process.